A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower

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Springer, Apr 17, 2012 - History - 288 pages
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Japan's impact on the modern world has been enormous. It occupies just one 300th of the planet's land area, yet came to wield one sixth of the world's economic power. Just 150 years ago it was an obscure land of paddy fields and feudal despots. Within 50 years it became a major imperial power – it's so-called 'First Miracle'. After defeat in the Second World War, when Japan came close to annihilation, within 25 years it recovered remarkably to become the world's third biggest economy – it's 'Second Miracle'. It is now not only an economic superpower, but also a technological and cultural superpower. True miracles have no explanation: Japan's 'miracles' do. The nation's success lies in deeply ingrained historical values, such as a pragmatic determination to succeed. The world can learn much from Japan, and its story is told in these pages.

Covering the full sweep of Japanese history, from ancient to contemporary, this book explores Japan's enormous impact on the modern world, and how vital it is to examine the past and culture of the country in order to full understand its achievements and responses. Now in its third edition, this book is usefully updated and revised.

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Japan and History
Myths Prehistory and Ancient History to 710
Early and Medieval History 7101600
The Tokugawa Period 16001868
The Meiji Period 18681912
The Pacific War and its LeadUp
Postwar Successes and Beyond
The Heisei Years
Lessons for Aspiring Superpowers
Glossary of Japanese Terms

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About the author (2012)

KENNETH HENSHALL is Professor in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He has published more than a dozen books in a range of fields. Previous editions of A History of Japan have been translated into several languages, and he has recently written on Japanese History for Lonely Planet.

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